Women Are Twice As Likely To Have Anxiety Than Men, According To Studies

I often find myself stressing over minuscule problems, turning them into full blown anxieties and then reprimanding myself for going through with the entire process in the first place. I have wondered if I was the only person caught in this vicious cycle — and as it turns out, I am not. According to a study published in Brain and Behavior, a monthly peer-reviewed open access scientific journal, women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety then men, and are also at a higher risk for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). With the numbers backing up the previous statement, it's no wonder I've been feeling the #stress.

As with all studies published, the reader should go through the entirety of the publication before jumping to conclusions. This particular study wanted to take a look at the previous 1,232 reviews on the prevalence of anxiety and see if any common patterns emerged. Out of the 1,232 reviews, only 48 fit the researchers’ criteria for inclusion — meaning that they established a preferable baseline for their participants including but not limited to age and gender. Other factors that researchers looked into were income, medical conditions, and location. With all these in mind, the study found some interesting results.

When it comes to anxiety, it seems that people living in East Asia were below the global rate coming in at under 3 percent. North America was the highest, showing 8 percent of the population suffering from anxiety. When looking at the breakdown of anxiety by gender — women were shown to be twice as likely to suffer from it. After scrolling through some of the sources for this study, one from Baxter in 2013 concluded that people over 55 years old were 20 percent less anxious then 35- to 55-year-olds.


Great. Not only am I woman who happens to live in North America, I am also part of that amazing group of people under 55. What else can I possibly be besides anxious?! The good news is that, like with any study, the results are subject to scrutiny — the researchers admit there were some limitations because of the differences in anxiety assessment globally, and that a lot of the studies were English-language and Western based.


So take everything you read with a grain of salt. The important thing that was established by the study was that there is in fact a pattern when it comes to anxiety. This pattern is important for future research on the topic as well as being indicators and determinants of poor health across the globe. Until then, try not to get too anxious over the results.

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